Canada features prominently in the overseas dream of many people from all over the world.
Nevertheless, newcomers to Canada often fall prey to various visa scams.
Scammers take advantage of the fact that when newcomers come to Canada, in all probability, they are clueless or have a limited understanding of the ways that the government or companies do business in Canada.
As per the advisory by the Government of Canada, the most commonly witnessed visa scams that affect newcomers to the country include –
When a scammer plans on duping you through fake emails, you might get an email trying to convince you into –
- Giving personal information
- Divulging the password for your bank accounts
- Investing money
Do keep in mind that a legitimate investor will never send out bulk emails to people that they do not know personally.
Things to remember
- Delete emails that ask you to pay money.
- Be careful of emails from strangers that direct you to another website that will in turn ask you for personal information.
- Never give out personal information online, until you know beyond any doubt that the website is absolutely secure, or you know the sender of the email.
- Never click on any links in emails that you don’t know the sender of.
- When in doubt, always verify the identity of the sender.
In visa scams involving fake prizes, you will receive either a phone call or a text message informing you that you had won a prize.
An important fact here is that you had never entered into any contest in the first place.
This is a scam.
If you do get any text message or phone call from someone that you don’t know, directing you on to a form wherein you are required to enter any personal information, you must delete the text without further ado.
In no case should you enter any personal information.
Things to remember
- Even if the text asks you to reply with a ‘No’ or ‘STOP’ to discontinue getting any more texts, you must not reply. Scamsters usually employ this tactic for confirmation that the phone number that they have with them is indeed genuine. Simply delete all such texts.
- You can forward the text to 7726 (SPAM on most of the keypads). Forwarding to 7726 will let your phone provider block any future texts sent from that particular number.
- If you believe the text message to be indeed real, you can click on the link given and check if the website is genuine or not.
FAKE COMPUTER VIRUS
In such visa scams, you will receive an email or a phone call informing you that your computer had been infected by a virus.
Offering to remove the virus from your computer, the caller/sender will then try to get hold of your computer password or other information of a personal nature.
Things to remember
- Under no circumstances should you provide anyone with access to your computer. Anyone, that is, that you did not contact for help in the first place.
- Always get your computer fixed at a professional shop.
- Ensure that you install anti-virus software that has been bought from a trusted source.
FROM THOSE CLAIMING TO BE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA STAFF
Typically, someone will call you on your phone claiming to be a government official.
You will be told that you will have to pay something as you had done something or failed to do something. For example, not submitting proper documentation with your application.
They might do any or all of the following –
- Warn you that, if you were not to pay the amount asked for, you might be losing your immigration status in Canada.
- Threaten you with deportation.
- Intimidate or pressurize your family.
- Threaten to damage your property or home.
Things to remember
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will never ask for personal/financial information on the phone [do note that you might be called to verify some personal information that you had already provided]; force you to pay at once; call you on phone to collect fines/fees; threaten with arrest/deportation/sending police; threaten to harm your family or you; threaten to damage your property/home; ask you for money transfer by gift cards, prepaid credit cards, Money Gram, Western Union etc.
- For suspicious immigration-related calls, you must ask for the name of the caller and hang up. Call 1-888-242-2100 (in Canada only) to confirm if the call was real. If not real, report the same to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you have lost any money in such immigration-related visa scams, report immediately to your local police.
- For suspicious calls related to taxes, the first step is to hang up the call. Then, you must place a call to the Canada Revenue Agency [1-800-959-8281] for confirmation whether the call was real or not. If not genuine, report to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Notify your local police if you have lost any money in such a scam.
- Even if the agency’s phone number might reflect as genuine on the Caller ID on your phone, this alone is not sufficient reason to assume that it is genuine. Various scamsters use high-end technology for masking or faking numbers. Getting a genuine number on your Caller ID is not a guarantee of the caller indeed being genuine.
While the above-mentioned are the most common visa scams faced by newcomers in Canada, other scams include – fake bills, door-to-door scams, and online dating scams.
You can go through more information about the various laws by Canadian provinces for frauds that are there to safeguard people.
When it comes to visa scams, being forewarned is indeed being forearmed.
Y-Axis offers a wide range of visa and immigration services as well as products to the aspiring overseas immigrants including Y-Path for Licensed Professionals, Y-Path for Students and Freshers, and Y-Path for Working Professionals and Job Seeker.
If you are looking to Study, Migrate, Visit, Invest, or Work in the U.S. talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No. 1 Immigration & Visa Company.
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